I've been trying to develop my relative pitch, and I've seen the suggestion of using "interval songs". This makes sense to me, but I've noticed something about every song I've seen suggested for the interval of a Perfect 4th: it's always the dominant to the tonic. This makes the tool more difficult to use in my head.

Can anyone recommend any pieces (the more well-known the better) that begin with the tonic to the subdominant?


The guitar riff of "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood uses a perfect fourth from the root up (and so do many other blues riffs).

  • @Tim: What I meant was that going from the tonic to the fourth is a very common thing to do in the blues/rock idiom. Think of Deep Purple's Black Night riff (actually stolen from Ricky Nelson's version of Summertime), or Led Zeppelin's Black Dog, where in both cases the 1-4 happens somewhere in the middle of the riff. – Matt L. Jun 17 '18 at 10:37
  • Not to mention in folk music. The interval from the pickup to the first downbeat in "This Land is Your Land" is from one to four also. – Scott Wallace Jun 18 '18 at 16:18

The opening riff to "Blister in the Sun" outlines a fourth between tonic and the fourth. (It's not just 1-4, it's more like 1-3-1-4-3; but it might be useful since it's just such a simple earworm....)


I'd point you to the following site...


Ear master Pro is good s/w for ear training. I few that I remember learning in music theory class are...

The Wedding March

Amazing Grace

Love Me Tender

There is a large list. These start with a 4th but I did not check that it was tonic to sub-dom for all.

  • At least a couple of these go V>I, which is a P4, but as the OP states, isn't what he wants. The problem with P4 is that it will not usually be the beginning of a song. Very few will go straight to the IV chord. – Tim Jun 16 '18 at 21:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.